For those of us in the professional workplace, we know all too well that our day-to-day can get overwhelming, disheartening and sometimes banal. Even scientists, as exciting as our research can be, feel this too. At CEI, there is so much going that on that it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture and take for granted this amazing place where we live and the truly interesting work we do. Long hours of fieldwork, scrubbing tanks, struggling through statistical analysis can sometimes can leave asking, “what is this all for?” To alleviate this, we look for “pick me ups”, which for many comes in the form of coffee, or, for the Brits among us, a cupp’a PG Tips. I find that taking a plunge into the ocean or a run around the loop also gets the job done. But these practices are…well, just not sustainable! The trick, I’ve discovered, to really get energized and motivated – I mean really excited about what you’re doing, your job, your day to day – is to attend a conference! Conferences bring like-minded people together to discuss similar topics of interest. They inform, spark dialogue, entice collaboration and get people enthusiastic about their work. I like to call this getting your “conference caffeine.” Continue reading
by Lincoln Zweig and John Morris
This was a very successful week for the lionfish research team. On Tuesday we had two great reading note presentations and started to work on our first group project. By our next class on Friday we had a PowerPoint set up that described our research group’s purpose. After a practice presentation we went out into the field. Each buddy team finished three transects at the first dive spot that went very well. However, the reef was quite flat so we didn’t see too many lionfish or grouper. A bolt of lightening then interrupted our dive, and we headed back to The Island School. Apparently the weather gods don’t like it when we dive on Friday. Saturday was an almost flawless day in the field. We got to both of our desired dive sites and had very well set up transects at each one. We saw more lionfish and grouper on Saturday because the reefs we visited had more ledges for lionfish to use as shelter. As a group we are definitely ready and excited for our presentation on Tuesday!
By Maddy Philipp and Katie Harpin
Greetings from the Lionfish Research team! We are now three weeks into the program and have already learned so much. The purpose of our study is to look at how grouper and currents affect the distribution of invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) found around Cape Eleuthera, Bahamas. So far we have gone on two mock dives. Unfortunately our second one got cut short due to an unexpected thunderstorm. We have also learned how to identify grouper and take the total length of fish from a distance underwater. For one of our classes, we took a trip to CEI and learned how to dissect a lionfish. From the dissection we could see what the lionfish had eaten. We also learned that lionfish can expand their stomachs up to 30 times its normal size. For another class we became scientist for a day and learned the correct structure for scientific papers. We have 3 research classes a week and two of those usually involve fieldwork. Although the readings may be strenuous, the lionfish team is excited to have the opportunity to work alongside biologists and helping to further the worlds knowledge on lionfish.
Dan Rather along with a film crew and a team of producers visited Cape Eleuthera last week to film a piece about lionfish. The piece is for his show on HDNet, Dan Rather Reports. He visited the Cape to see first-hand both the extent of and learn the effects of the lionfish invasion and what is being done in response. Rather’s visit coincided with researchers Lad Akins and Stephanie Green’s being on campus to conduct their ongoing lionfish research at the Cape Eleuthera Institute.
The film crew spent an entire day on boats visiting reefs and filming with Akins and Green, as well as with CEI’s own lionfish researchers Annabelle Oronti and Skylar Miller. The piece, which will air in the next couple of weeks on HDNet, will feature interviews and footage from in the field. Last month, the New York Times featured a piece on the lionfish invasion in Atlantic and Caribbean waters, and Rather’s visit to report on them underscores the importance of the issue and the work being done at CEI to understand and deal with the problem.
Last night our community had the opportunity to attend a lionfish presentation from REEF’s (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) Director of Operations Lad Akins and lionfish researcher from Simon Fraser University, Stephanie Green. Their presentation gave students, interns, and staff an update on the lionfish invasion in the Caribbean. Atkins presented research on the breadth of the invasion as well as reasons why lionfish have gained such a strong foothold outside their native Indo-Pacific range. Green then spoke to students about the implications of the invasion on native fisheries in the Caribbean, as well as what is being done to curb the advance.
In addition to lionfish education and training people in the invaded areas, REEF has planned Continue reading